Tigers' Scrimmage Closes out Second Week of Spring
March 22, 2014
The University of Memphis wrapped up its second week of spring drills Saturday with a scrimmage which saw the offense break free for some big plays but the Tigers’ defensive unit rally to force field goals or no points at all during every drive into the red zone.
Memphis’ scoring during the scrimmage was limited to four Jake Elliott field goals including three from 25 yards or less on drives which stalled inside the 10.
While the Tiger offense failed to find the end zone, it should be noted that neither the offense nor defense has worked on goal-line situations so far this spring. The offensive play calling inside the red zone was limited to running plays.
Still, the defensive unit showed a will to keep the offense out of the end zone, forcing three field goals as well as two four-down stops inside the 10.
A Terry Redden tackle forced Elliott’s first field goal of the day, a 22-yarder, and the Tigers would later have to settle for a 23-yard Elliott field goal after Paxton Lynch hooked up with Keiwone Malone for a 56-yard pass play.
Malone caught three passes for 117 yards. Sam Craft added a 31-yard reception from Lynch later in the day.
Also in the scrimmage, a 36-yard strike from Lynch to tight end Alan Cross would set up a 38-yard Elliott field goal.
Jackson Dillon had a couple third-down tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage to force field goals while Derek Howard registered a pair of quarterback sacks during the day. Both Reggis Ball and Phillip Sumpter intercepted passes during Saturday’s scrimmage.
“On both sides of the ball we made plays,” said Memphis head coach Justin Fuente. “Offensively we made plays. Defensively, they got their back up against the wall a little bit and made plays.”
The Tigers still have strides to make as they surpass the halfway point of spring next week. Saturday’s scrimmage marked the seventh of 15 practices slated for the spring. Like this past week, Memphis will practice Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday during the upcoming week.
“We have a lot of lessons to learn about the culture and what it takes to be a winning football program,” Fuente said. “We just have to be better all around. We have to have more discipline. We have got to continue to improve our ability to do the three things that we want which is to play hard, smart and tough.”
Memphis Notes: 2013 Ray Guy Award winner Tom Hornsey will throw out the first pitch at Sunday’s baseball game between Temple and Memphis at FedExPark … Several signees who were enjoying spring break this past week were on hand during practices including incoming junior college transfer wide receiver Greg McKillion who was on hand for all three practices this past week before returning to complete his final semester at Independence, Kan., Community College.